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Become a Phlebotomist in Glendale Arizona

How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Glendale AZ

Glendale AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientPicking the right phlebotomy technician training near Glendale AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomist Job Summary

Glendale AZ phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Glendale AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Glendale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Glendale AZ labThere are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Glendale AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

Glendale Arizona student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Glendale AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Glendale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Glendale AZ job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Glendale AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Glendale AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Glendale AZ medical community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Glendale Arizona

Glendale AZ phlebotomist laboratory blood analysisMaking sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Glendale AZ.